Kathryn and Ken's European Vacation

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Day 2: London
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United Kingdom


Travelodge Covent Gardens, London


Sunny with a high of 27C

Day 2: Wednesday, September 6, 2006     London England

A Bird's "Eye" View of London

We slept through our alarm but woke up early enough.  We walked to the Leicester Square underground and caught the Tube to the London Eye.  The British Airways London Eye is the world's tallest observation wheel at 135m high. Located on the banks of the River Thames it offers unrivalled views over London. Since opening at the turn of the century, the London Eye has become an iconic landmark, with a status that can be compared to Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Eros and the Tower of London. It has been used as a backdrop in

The London Eye

countless films and for innumerable TV programs. A source of pride for the whole country as well as the capital, the London Eye is the most distinctive addition this century to the world's greatest city, loved by Britons and tourists alike. A breathtaking feat of design and engineering, passengers in the London Eye's capsules can see up to 40 kilometres in all directions, in complete comfort and safety.  (For more information visit http://www.londoneye.com/).  Each capsule holds a maximum of 25 people.  We took a Discovery flight which provides a guide to explain the history of the Eye and what we were looking at.  The entire trip took 45 minutes and hardly seems like you are moving.  It does not stop - you board and disembark out a door while the capsule slowly keeps moving.  The view was stupendous and I took lots of photos. (See below for  photo slide show).

We walked across the Westminster Bridge and arrived at Big Ben and the Parliament buildings.  We walked completely around the Parliament Buildings.   Westminster Abbey is basically across the street to the west of Parliament.  We spent over two hours touring around inside this amazing cathedral.  Unfortunately, no photography was allowed, so we don't have any pictures.  (For more information on Westminster Abbey, see http://www.westminster-abbey.org/)  The history inside was mind-blowing.  One of the guides referred to the "new" stained glass window which was installed in 1732.  It makes you realize how new we really are in Canada.

Kathryn on Westminster Bridge with Parliament in the background

We then walked a few blocks and arrived at St. James Park (for more info on St. James Park, click here).  We strolled about a kilometre through the Park on a beautiful afternoon and arrived at Buckingham Palace.  The Queen didn't invite us in for tea but there were lots of tourists around.   I had surgery on my left knee in April and then injured my right knee playing with my grandniece and grandnephew just before we left and they were starting to bother me.  (This will become a recurring theme). 

Ken with Buckingham Palace in the background

We jumped on the Underground and went to the London Museum, where we spent a couple of educational hours learning about the history of London. (We decided to pass on seeing the British Museum, which is really not a museum of Britain but rather a museum of all the stuff the British stole from around the rest of the world.)

By this time, jet lag was kicking in so we went back to the hotel for a well deserved nap.  After waking up about 7:30 pm, we walked about 10 blocks to Covent Garden again to check out the evening action.  On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at Rock and Sole Plaice which is written up in all of the guidebooks as the best place in central London to get fish and chips.  Each of us had a "take away" of fish and chips to eat at the hotel.  There was tons of food - one order would have been plenty.  After that it was lights out for a much needed sleep.

Click here for a Slide Show of Day 2 photos.  There are comments beneath each photo.

Day 3

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